Esports team on a tight schedule

Bill Ai, general manager of varsity esports, says these are "exciting times" for college esports. Photo credit: Peter Fitzpatrick

Varsity esports at Durham College is almost underway but teams have yet to be selected.

The teams wraps up their tryouts this Saturday. Bill Ai, general manager of esports teams, is confident in their abilities under such a tight time frame.

“Lucky for us, the first half the year is more of a seeding time, where teams are playing for a better competitive seed, moving on to the actual elimination-style coming up in the second half of the year,” Ai said.

More than 100 students have participated in the tryouts, according to Ai, but in the end there will be three to five players per team, plus substitutes, for the seven games being played.

“The turnout has been good. We’ve gotten a lot of outreach. Considering how fast we had to move this year as a development year for our program, our outreach was very good,” he said.

The upcoming matches may be held in an online-only environment if construction of the esports arena isn’t complete in time.

“It does hurt not having [the arena],” said Ai. “However, in terms of actually playing these matches, the impact is not huge because these leagues do expect us to play online for the most part for every game except Smash.”

The games are slated to begin the first week of October, but the final completion of the arena remains uncertain.